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Fertilizers have been used extensively around the globe since the Green Revolution, due to the high subsidies. However, extensive fertilizer use exacerbates soil degradation and causes yield stagnation, and as a result threatens food security and soil sustainability, especially in developing countries. This means that sustainable soil and environmental management are vital to provide food and nutritional security for present and future generations. This has led to the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) declaring 2015-2024 the International Decade of Soils. This book focuses on the impact of sustainable management of soil and environment on improving the functioning of soil-ecosystems and agronomic productivity, and also discusses food security, nutrient cycling, recent advances in INM technologies, eco-friendly cultivation, agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as conservation agriculture and its effects, and strategies for soil sustainability. Offering a comprehensive overview of management in the context of the sustainability of soil and the agroecosystems that it supports, it demonstrates the options available and provides insights into restoring soil health and matching soil nutrient supply with crop demand to ensure nutritional security in an eco-friendly environment.
The cropping system is one of the important components of sustainable agriculture, since it provides more efficient nutrient cycling. As such, balanced fertilization must be based on the concept of sustainable crop production. Feeding the rapidly growing world population using environmentally sustainable production systems is a major challenge, especially in developing countries. A number of studies have highlighted the fact that degradation of the world's cultivated soils is largely responsible for low and plateauing yields. Soil is lost rapidly but only formed over millennia, and this represents the greatest global threat to nutrient dynamics in agriculture. This means that nutrient management is essential to provide food and nutritional security for current and future generations. Nutrient dynamics and soil sustainability imply the maintenance of the desired ecological balance, the enhancement and preservation of soil functions, and the protection of biodiversity above and below ground. Understanding the role of nutrient management as a tool for soil sustainability and nutritional security requires a holistic approach to a wide range of soil parameters (biological, physical, and chemical) to assess the soil functions and nutrient dynamics of a crop management system within the desired timescale. Further, best nutrient management approaches are important to advance soil sustainability and food and nutritional security without compromising the soil quality and productive potential. Sustainable management practices must allow environmentally and economically sustainable yields and restore soil health and sustainability. This book presents soil management approaches that can provide a wide range of benefits, including improved fertility, with a focus on the importance of nutrient dynamics. Discussing the broad impacts of nutrients cycling on the sustainability of soil and the cropping systems that it supports, it also addresses nutrient application to allow environmentally and economically sustainable agroecosystems that restore soil health. Arguing that balanced fertilization must be based on the concept of INM for a cropping system rather than a crop, it provides a roadmap to nutrient management for sustainability. This richly illustrated book features tables, figures and photographs and includes extensive up-to-date references, making it a valuable resource for policymakers and researchers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students of Soil Science, Agronomy, Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Meeting the food requirements of an ever-increasing population is a pressing challenge for every country around the globe. Soil degradation has a negative impact on food security by reducing the cultivated land areas, while at the same time the world population is predicted to increase to 9.2 billion in 2050. Soil degradation adversely affects soil function and productivity and degraded soils now amount to 6 billion ha worldwide. The major factors are salinization, erosion, depletion of nutrients due to exhaustive agricultural practices and contamination with toxic metal ions and agrochemicals, which reduces the activity of soil microbe. In addition, poor soil management also decreases fertility. As such, measures are required to restore the soil health and productivity: organic matter, beneficial microorganisms and nutrient dynamics can all improve the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil. Understanding the role of soil health restoration and management in sustainability and nutritional security calls for a holistic approach to assess soil functions and examine the contributions of a particular management system within a defined timescale. Further, best management practices in cropping systems are important in ensuring sustainability and food and nutritional security without compromising the soil quality and productivity po-tential. Rational soil management practices must allow environmentally and economically sustain-able yields and restoration of soil health.
Sustainable management of soils is an important global issue of the 21st century. Feeding roughly 8 billion people with an environmentally sustainable production system is a major challenge, especially considering the fact that 10% of the world's population at risk of hunger and 25% at risk of malnutrition. Accordingly, the 68th United Nations (UN) general assembly declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses to raise awareness and to celebrate the role of pulses in human nutrition and welfare. Likewise, the assembly declared the year 2015 as the International Year of Soils to promote awareness of the role of healthy soils for a healthy life and the International Union of Soil Science (IUSS) has declared 2015-2024 as the International Decade of Soils. Including legumes in cropping systems is an important toward advancing soil sustainability, food and nutritional security without compromising soil quality or its production potential. Several textbooks and edited volumes are currently available on general soil fertility or on legumes but' to date' none have been dedicated to the study of Legumes for Soil Health and Sustainable Management . This is important aspect, as the soil, the epidermis of the Earth (geoderma)' is the major component of the terrestrial biosphere. This book explores the impacts of legumes on soil health and sustainability, structure and functioning of agro-ecosystems, agronomic productivity and food security, BNF, microbial transformation of soil N and P, plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria, biofertilizers, etc. With the advent of fertilizers, legumes have been sidelined since World War II, which has produced serious consequences for soils and the environment alike. Therefore, legume-based rational cropping/soil management practices must support environmentally and economically sustain-able agroecosystems based on (sequential) rotation and intercropping considerations to restore soil health and sustainability. All chapters are amply illustrated with appropriately placed data, tables, figures, and photographs, and supported with extensive and cutting-edge references. The editors have provided a roadmap for the sustainable development of legumes for food and nutritional security and soil sustainability in agricultural systems, offering a unique resource for teachers, researchers, and policymakers, as well as undergraduate and graduate students of soil science, agronomy, ecology, and the environmental sciences.